2001 Signatory Bowmore 12 Years Review

2001 Signatory Bowmore 12 Years is the bigger brother of the 2002 Signatory Bowmore 11 Years I wrote about last week and aside from the 1 year age difference the biggest difference is the proof. The 11 was bottled at a respectable 46% while this lovely lady is bottled at a ripping 59.1%. This is the kind of stuff that’ll keep you warm at night; not that we ever really need help with that in SoCal.

In K&L’s Words: 2001 Signatory Bowmore 12 Years

“We absolutely killed it with the ’02 Hogshead at 46% this year, but we’re not done with Bowmore. This distillery is cranking out the most magnificent malt and Signatory gets these amazing high quality butts.
This is more consistent with the house style than the last cask, bringing the nutty sherry slightly more to the foreground. It’s a stark reminder that Bowmore should be considered one of Scotland’s greatest distilleries. Treat this with the reverence it deserves and this whisky will make you feel like you’re the special one instead of the other way around.”

The guys at K&L are always good for a solid soundbite about they whisky they sell. Maybe I should have them write for TWJ, I’m sure they have nothing better to do 😉 On to the 2001 Signatory Bowmore 12 Years review!

2001 Signatory Bowmore 12 Years Info

Region: Islay, Scotland

Distiller: Bowmore
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: Refill Sherry
Age: 12 Years
ABV: 59.1%

Price: $90 (when it was available)

2001 Signatory Bowmore 12 Years Review

Light honey

Powerful burst of peat, smoked meat, tart fruit, honey, anise and a light bit of vanilla bean, wood and chalk that gets more noticeable with water as does an underlying dried dark fruit character.

Heavy wave of peat, rich fruit that leans tropical, dark sweets, vanilla, citrus peels and spice. Deep and bold, some water opens it up further and the spice gets more notes of cinnamon and clove and some honey arrives with a mild hint of mint.

Long smoky, iodine, ash, light fruity sweetness and a bit of dry oak.

Sublime sense of balance, thick round body and a heavy oily feel.

Why can’t OB Bowmore be as good as this 2001 Signatory Bowmore 12 Years? It’s so crazy to me that OB Bowmore is at best a forgettable whiskey and at worst is downright awful, yet the majority of indie casks are good if not excellent. It’s a serious conundrum that’s gone from casual observation to well held belief backed by a LOT of experience over the last two weeks.

This whisky in particular is a simply amazing example of how well Bowmore can show. The peat on the nose is powerful and rests in the glass like a blanket that attended a bonfire the night before and the sweetness is fruity and balanced. Other than dumping casks they can’t offload anywhere else into their current releases I don’t know how they can be putting out such mediocre whisky when the IBs are putting out such great versions of their own whisky… seriously an interesting conundrum.

SCORE: 89/100 (B+)

2001 Signatory Bowmore 12 Years Label

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